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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Imperial Guard Codex Review: Part 9: Fast Attack Part 1

NW Games Supply

The lovely home of the Vendetta. Yes, there are other units in this slot and yes, they are quite useful. Vendettas are amazingly cheap for what you get but not exactly durable. They can see everything but everything can see them and with only AV12, well they don't withstand firepower amazingly well. Now taking a couple of these isn't a bad thing, it gives you ranged and reliable S9 firepower which is quite mobile - it's just a huge target for your opponent. The other choices in Fast Attack are quite good as well but perhaps not seen as often as they should be with players generally going the easy route and taking three Vendettas. We'll start with the pretty gunships and then look at the other options Imperial Guard has.


For 130 points you get three twin-linked lascannons on a chassis way up high in the sky. Very nice firepower but not exactly durable and they will be high priority targets for your opponent. They will look to kill/shake these guys ASAP and move on. AV12 gives them some protection but not a lot against the higher strength guns and getting cover for them is very difficult. That being said they always come with extra armor so can at least always move and are quite capable of getting into advantageous firing positions with scout (or try and hide/gain cover but unlikely).

Scout allows them to reserve effectively either outflanking or coming on from your own table edge when going second (you brought an Astropath right?). The whole model needs to move into the board when this happens though so you generally cannot move on 6"and fire all three lascannons. Scout can also be combined with its transport capacity to create the threat of a first turn meltagun/bomb alpha-strike. This tactic is very uni-dimensional and easily stopped by your opponent with bubble-wrap but can alter your opponent's deployment. If they don't protect against it, well you have some potential free strikes against them.

The hellfury missiles are a waste here as you lose Lascannons to access them but Heavy Bolter sponsons are decent at 10 points per model. Getting an extra six anti-infantry shots on a unit dedicated to anti-tank gives excellent duality. Unfortunately, the Vendetta rarely lives long enough to be called upon for that duality role though it does help against all foot lists. Vendettas can also be taken in squadrons up to three vehicles strong. This can help their durability and suppression issues but often leads to overkill against opponent tanks. All in all the Vendetta is a great and cheap fire support choice but pretty fragile in return.


The forgotten brother of the Vendetta, the Valkyrie is the cheaper and more anti-infantry oriented version. Just like the Vendetta, the Valkyrie is capable of transporting units and using Scout to generate excellent alpha-strikes. Again, the threat of this is often better than actually being able to do it. The main difference between the two however, is target priority for your opponents. Vendettas are very likely to be shot at and die early. Valkyrie's far less so as they are no where near as dangerous to mech armies.

At 100 points base, each Valkyrie comes standard with a multi-laser and two hellstrike missiles. The multi-laser is nice duality but the hellstrike missiles are pretty meh being one shot only but can be exchanged for multiple rocket pods (x2) for 30 points. This allows the Valkyrie to throw out two large blasts a turn at infantry for 130 points. Not bad but an Imperial Guard army rarely needs the help in terms of anti-infantry.

In the end, the Valkyrie isn't seen often for a reason. For 130 points the Vendetta is raw efficiency at its finest whilst the Valkyrie with rocket pods is just okay. If the two could be combined in a squadron you'd see these guys a lot more to 'protect' the Vendetta. Otherwise you'd only be looking to take Valkyries for a themed list or if you're really desperate for extra anti-infantry and one would imagine there are better choices unless your slots are all filled up.

Scout Sentinels

These are perhaps one of my favorite units in the Imperial Guard codex yet they see very little use. With AV10 all-round and open-topped, they certainly aren't durable but they can be taken in squadrons and are 35 points base. Each Sentinel can take a heavy weapon and thanks to Scout, can outflank. Sounds pretty good to me with the autocannon at 5 points being an excellent buy, particularly since Scout Sentienls can get into side armor pretty easily. The Heavy Flamer at 5 points is also a fairly decent option against backfield infantry but doesn't have the AP to fry Marines. The Missile Launcher and Lascannon are both a bit too expensive for a single shot on a BS3 model though if you're looking for extra strength, they can be useful. The Hunter Killer Missile upgrade is also an nice buy. Again, BS3 sucks, especially for 10 points, but combined with whatever weapon you have on the turn you come in, you have a greater chance of impacting the tabletop.

For 40-50 points each, a squadron of two-three of these guys is great. Cheap and able to come on quite reliably with an Astropath and annoy the opponent. Not only can it hurt the side/rear armor of tanks but tie up backfield infantry units quite well thanks to walker status. Since most backfield units don't run around with powerfists and only Marines have grenades (which hit on 6s), those units can find it very difficult to ever break away from the Sentinels.

Armored Sentienls

Like the Scout Sentinel these guys come with a multi-laser each and have a similar statline but with front AV 12, extra armor and no open-topped. The big loss here is the lack of Scout but for their extra durability they are 20 points more per model. They have the same heavy weapon options with a bonus plasma cannon at 20 points.

All in all...pretty meh. A squadron of these gets expensive fast (and also makes extra armor obsolete) and whilst it offers more heavy weapons, 165+ points for three heavies is too expensive, even on an AV12 platform. The lack of mobility options granted by scout and excessive increase in points makes these guys overpriced fire support. If you're really in desperate need of extra ranged guns, look to units like Vendettas or Heavy Weapon Teams instead. They are cheaper and more efficient if less durable.


We've looked at the two 'like' entries in Fast Attack so far and found two of them are vastly superior to their counter-parts. They are of course the Vendetta and Scout Sentinel. The Vendetta offers super cheap and reliable S9 shots at ranged whilst the Scout Sentinel offers cheap disruption with the potential to hurt weaker armor of tanks and tie-up backfield units. I really think this unit is under appreciated as for its cost, it packs pretty decent firepower and excellent disruption. Armored Sentinels do not have these options and are much more expensive whilst Valkyrie's do not offer the raw efficiency of Vendettas and fulfil a role the Imperial Guard army generally has little issue with.

Next post we'll look at the Hellhound variants and Rough Riders before finishing off with the Heavy Support.

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